Note to parents -Remember school?
Memories of school can include making great friends and having great adventures or be a source of anguish and frustration. Many adults recollect being ignored or misjudged at school and consider that affected their learning and reaching full potential. That is completely correct and as a university lecturer and adult teacher I can attest to the excellence I have uncovered from almost all my ‘damaged’ school students.
School cannot cater for children equally. The school system is essentially a mechanism to socialise and prepare children for higher education and work. Parents need to understand that a child’s talents and skills may remain locked if specific attention isn’t given at critical learning periods.Class size and school culture can impede a student’s development so external attentionis extremely beneficial.
There are many benefits tutoring provides beyond the subjects being learned these include:
- Personal attention to a child’s natural skills -and developing them;
- Parent coaching -so parents know how to support their child without knowing the subject matter;
- An opportunity for bonding and discussion with children -particularly teenagers;
- Mapping the child’s progress so that everyone can see the improvement or impediment;
- Cheer leading the child -everyone does better when they are encouraged;
- Confidence builder -if school is affecting confidence the child will regain it when they see results;
- Confidence in other aspects of the child’s life stemming from their tutoring experience;
- The most important -so children can understand why they need these subjects.
At approximately 12 children begin adult reasoning – this may occur earlier – but it is when children start asking questions like -When will I use this maths? -that you know they are using adult reasoning.Questions that require context are important because adult learning requires a frameworkand without the context learning is stunted.
This is why a child that likes maths accepts the subject more readily than a child that cannot see when maths will be of use. It follows then, that when a child does not accept or understand the subject’s value theywon’t do as well. Whilst it is true not everyone will like maths it is equally true that many people discover they are quite capable when they use maths for their own purposes.
When adult reasoning begins context is essential and tutors provide context that is relevant, so the learner can conceptualise and make sense of their learning. Schools service the masses and whilst the broad education needs are meticulously determined via the curricula all the individual needs are impossible to cater for.
Most students will complete their school years attaining the required skills needed for the next stage of their lives. However, many students could be doing better if they had custom designed tutoringthat focuses on their individual needs. The intrinsic value for the student is that they can build the confidence to accept the other learning challenges they will encounter.
Joan Muscat Bach and Masters Bus Comm